Before the NODAPL Sioux Protest passes into the next phase of America squarely addressing the larger issue of Climate Change and how to more quickly convert from fossil fuels to renewable energies, it’s important to reflect upon what exactly happened over the past several months that the NODAPL Protest raged.
President Obama is being widely-applauded for finally showing the courage to call a temporary halt to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). It most probably will end up a brief halt once President-Elect Donald Trump, who has investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline and is known to favour more pipeline construction, takes hold of the reins of America and plots a very different course of action for DAPL, America’s fossil-fuel industry and the very fate of Climate Change itself.
Even President Obama, as America’s still current Commander-in-Chief, stood idly by for months and did nothing to intercede, for humanitarian reasons if no other, on behalf of so many defenceless, non-violent Sioux Indian pipeline protestors and their international supporters who were being violently set upon by North Dakota’s political, law enforcement and military forces. Instead, as the Sioux and others steadfastly sought to peacefully block construction of DAPL through their sacred burial grounds, President Obama allowed the chaotic turn of events to escalate to the life-threatening point where innocent men, women, children and elders were being subjected to some of the most inhumane, heinous, disgraceful physical assaults imaginable since the atrocities committed by American political and law enforcement authorities during the contentious Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s & 70’s.
During the months that led up to President Obama’s decision to withdraw the permit to allow DAPL to continue construction, America’s mainstream press and vast media network did next to nothing to truthfully bring to the American public’s attention the real facts of what all was going on. This wasn’t by accident it was an intentional news block-out. Hence, for many months many horrific things transpired, much to the detriment of America’s reputation, remained all but invisible unless independent and alternative journalists took it upon themselves to become the sources of breaking news stories; stories like: the vicious guard dog attacks by employees of Energy Transfer Partners, the Wall Street conglomerate who were behind the DAPL construction project; the ruthless Wall Street bankers and petroleum moguls in the East who sat removed in their distant boardrooms in New York, Washington D.C. and Dallas directing the DAPL to proceed regardless of the tragic cost to human life and limb that was intentionally meant to be perpetrated against the protestors; the vicious, brutal attacks led by North Dakota Governor Jack Dalyrmple, Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier and hosts of state police brought in from four surrounding states who committed unspeakably violent attacks against the human and civil rights of the NODAPL protestors; the National Guard troops who indiscriminately sprayed, at point-blank range, the passive, peaceful protestors with every conceivable weapon short of heavy combat weaponry, ranging from MACE, Pepper Spray, Taser darts, rubber bullets, bean bag projectiles, concussion grenades, high-powered water cannons and ear-busting acoustic sound cannons, and; a sea of lies constantly made to the public by American politicians, police and military authorities who falsely charged that the violence being committed at DAPL was reciprocal between the Sioux and the authorities. Through all the lies, deceit and violence, America’s mainstream pres and media never countered all the lies with the real truth.
President Obama, on the eve of the Christmas holidays, as wintry temperatures on the North Dakota prairies continued to plummet to life-threatening lows, finally put a “better late than never” end to the wholesale mayhem that was soon going to ramp up all the more. Up to that point, the Sioux had demonstrated remarkable, Mahatma Gandhi-like, forbearance and restraint in their refusal to match the brutality committed being against them by the American Government.
But before this barbaric historic event in American history was to be put to an end, the direction towards which it was then heading reminding this writer of the Final Solution that, 80 years before, Germany had cunningly-devised for its so-called “Jewish Problem”. 80 years later, it felt as if the American government and its U.S. Army Corp of Engineers were on the verge of planning their own diabolical ‘final solution’ to America’s own Sioux Problem.
The Sioux, of course, never would have ever been gassed as the Jews were, but while the world once again was kept ignorant and in the dark about their fate, all hell was about to break loose as reactionary elements within the U.S. Government and military were on the verge of calling the Sioux’s Oceti Sakowin DAPL Protest village site illegal, forcibly shut it down and transport the thousands of its resident protestors to so-called isolated free speech zones.
IT WAS A CLOSE CALL! All hell would have broken loose as a column of seasoned U.S. military war veterans already was assembling to rush to the aid and defense of the Sioux. Things would have certainly got a lot more interesting to say the least while becoming an even uglier moment in American history than it was had that happened and still could once President-Elect Donald Trump is inaugurated as America’s new Commander-in-Chief.
Horrific images come to mind of the Sioux being kept out of sight and out of mind in the government’s Orwellian free speech zones that were being prepared for them where they would either be left to freeze to death or until they finally gave up in despair in the face of all the hostile elements that surrounded them. Isolated in these bizarre zones, the Sioux wouldn’t have actually been able to see the on-going construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and they wouldn’t have been seen by the world attempting to block its continued construction. Tthe concept of these 21st Century ‘concentration camps’ actually are a throwback to the United Statea Army’s original prison camp Indian Reservations that the Sioux’s ancestors, a century before, were likewise forced onto to remove them as well from obstructing the White Man’s civilization and its then constant Westward HO! Empire-building movement.
Once President Trump and his administration assumes office, this final solution for the Sioux, DAPL & Climate Change could still become a reality that would ensure the ability of Wall Street, the Fossil-Fuel industry, Big Banks, their investors, stockholders and the ‘New Normal’ of Donald Trump’s no-nonsense, Law & Order, alt-right supporters to continue to make record profits while seizing ever more control of every aspect of human life and still maintain complete dominion over every other species on Earth. The masses, and especially the 1%ers, could then also be kept happily sedated as their oil stocks continued to sky-rocket and they could continue to sip their martini’s in exotic ‘Club Med’ playgrounds and experience what they’ve been brainwashed to believe is the ultimate “good life”.
Meanwhile, in the future,with the Sioux and their allies invisibly sequestered away in America’s new free speech zones, America’s brand name could continue to evolve into the New Normal ways of life that are now being planned and promoted throughoutthe world by ‘The Donald’s’. All the wars fought in the past – The Indian Wars, The Great Sioux War, U.S. Civil War, the big and little Corporate Wars, would continue to remain the part of the same unbroken chain of violence, duplicity and betrayal that began with the New World’s various Western European brand names that in the Western Hemisphere first sought to portray itself as: America The Beautiful; The American Dream; Land of the Free & Home of the Brave, and; the ‘Shining City Upon That Hill’, as prophesized in a biblical parable by none other than Jesus Christ himself during his Sermon on the Mount.
With the coming inauguration of President Donald Trump, whatever clever marketing ploys are to be crafted in the future to further promote the American brand name won’t every change the course and direction of its originally-conceived way of life or its now most-favoured empire-building document: A Project For a New American Century (PNAC). Soon to be President Donald Trump isn’t the main culprit he’s simply the latest manifest symptom of a moral and ethical decay that was set into motion at the moment of its birth. One could argue that Donald Trump isn’t about to radically remake the American so much as serve as its best and brightest cheerleader/salesman who will greatly speed up the evolution of its brand in ways that only ‘The Donald’ can.
America, at its core, never has believed in the philosophy of a socialistic democracy that advocates for principles like: caring for one’s fellow man or woman; unionism for the protection of ordinary worker’s rights; the right to a liveable hourly wage; universal health care; the sacred protection and preservation of the natural world. Karl Marx was correct in his predictions of what would ultimately happen as it is today to a Western capitalistic country like America.
Given this reality, one could argue that this is why American culture, and its political-military-corporate-class systems and governmental structures, since the beginning, have been so fundamentally opposed to indigenous cultures like the Sioux and their communalistic ways of life that naturally practice values, principles and beliefs that seek to keep life sacred and in balance. By contrast, the American/Western European belief system is predicated upon perpetual growth and ever-larger consumptions of energy and resources, where unsustainable explosion of human populations is now the sole source of every deteriorating man-madecondition on earth. The indigenous uensibility of those like the Sioux instead contends that we humans have been created solely as caretakers of the many legacies that we are obligated to bequeath as intact as we possibly can to future coming generations of human and non-human species of life. Such beliefs a far cry from America’s founding fathers and today’s even more evolved world view of ‘The Donald’ and his supporters who instead look upon we humans as having been created as the sole dominant species whose God has decreed to it dominion over all other forms of life along with the arrogant belief that whatever actions it may take as a result aren’t the source of whatever modern-day notion of unsustainable population explosion or human-caused climate change.
So here we are on the eve of 2017, about to crown the next most powerful man in the world who will usher in a new world order and, as many fear, will sound the death knell to everything good, beautiful, holy and wholesome that America’s brand names promised it one day would otherwise become but lied because it never will.
To know all this to be true, just ask the Sioux and their allies what they’ve been up against over the past several months as they’ve resolutely stood together, in the face of terrible oppression and the worst of conditions, locked arm-in-arm in solidarity on the far distant prairies of North Dakota, while attempting to cry out loud enough “NODAPL!”, in the hope that the rest of America and the world would hear their pleas and echo even louder the prayer and chant that this cry represents to the world’s future.
Irwin Jerome: Author’s Bio Note: During the 1960’s and early 70’s Irwin lived with the Dakota and Lakota peoples on the Crow Creek Sioux & Oglala Sioux Reservations in South Dakota and later published the book, “The Wild Gentle Ones; A Turtle island Odyssey” (www.turtle-island-odyssey.com) that documents their historical plight and those of other indigenous peoples on Turtle Island. Email: Jerome_irwin@yahoo.com